In the past businesses have been a bit apprehensive about investing in technology with the notion of “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?” but as time has gone on, organisations are becoming more open to technology. Those who were early adopters of integration have been rewarded with accelerated growth, competitive advantage and efficiency savings, and the gap between the businesses who integrate and those who don’t, has widened. In today’s tough business climate and recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s become clear that businesses need digitisation to thrive, and that integration is becoming vital to success.
First things first, what does integration mean? Business integration is when businesses combine their business processes such as finance, supply chain, CRM, payroll and reporting and access all the information from one system, instead of running separate systems. Let’s examine some of the benefits of integrating your business:
This is one of the most fundamental benefits of integrating your business processes – everyone within your organisation will have access to the same information and departments can work hand-in-hand to ensure seamless business operations.
2. Provide better customer service
The quicker you can meet your customer needs, the more satisfied your customers will be. An integrated system will you give you all the information you need to know about your customer such as the number of purchases, their credit history, their purchase history and more, in one centralised place.
3. Improved productivity
Rather than spending time processing numerous manual tasks, automation allows these things to be done by the click of the button saving valuable time and enhancing productivity.
4. Quicker decision making
When a business has several systems, decision making is slower because information needed to make informed business decisions needs to be extracted from each system and manually examined. When your business processes are integrated you have all the information at your fingertips to make fast, informed decisions as information can be cross compared directly within the software and often exported for deeper manipulation.
5. Give employees a better work experience
There are always concerns about whether automating tasks means the need for less people power, but this is certainly not the case. Integrating your business will make life a lot easier for employees and give them time to spend on other activities and improve their job satisfaction by making every-day tasks easier, quicker and less stressful.
6. Easier integration with cloud
Cloud technology has given companies the ability to access their business information anywhere, which has proven to be fundamental over the past 20 months during the Covid-19 pandemic. An integrated system will be much easier to access in the cloud than multiple internal systems.
It is never too late to integrate your business, even if your existing systems are all running smoothly, but upgrading your systems when resources allow is fundamental to business success, to give you a competitive advantage and flexibility with regards to data access and sharing.